Space Traffic Management
The term “space traffic management” (STM) inevitably triggers comparisons to air traffic management. The reality is far different.
Senate appropriators, frustrated with the lack of progress by the Commerce Department on space traffic management, are threatening to withhold other funding until it gets detailed plans from the agency.
Members of the House Science Committee asked the new administrator of NOAA to make more use of commercial satellite data and take action on space traffic management.
The growing number of satellites in orbit is leading to calls to develop formal “right of way” rules, although there is no consensus on what those rules should be and how they should be established.
Two years after the close approach of a Starlink satellite with a European Space Agency satellite alarmed some in the space industry, SpaceX says it’s working closely with a wide range of satellite operators to ensure safe space operations.
A Space Force general endorsed the development of commercial systems for removing space debris, saying they can address congestion in Earth orbit without the policy concerns a government-run alternative might have.
Leaders of national space agencies agree that space traffic management (STM) should be a priority but have differing views on who should be responsible for it.
Kayhan Space, a startup focused on space situational awareness and collision avoidance technologies, announced Aug. 17 that Kevin O’Connell has joined its board of advisors.
Members of a Senate space subcommittee argued that the Commerce Department was not doing enough to implement policies on space traffic management (STM) or staffing the office responsible for it.
Space traffic management stuck in gridlock? The U.S. Commerce Department and NOAA say they will be ready this fall to "lay out procurement strategies, organizational framework, and governance approach for civilian space situational awareness services."
Rather than move forward with efforts to work with industry on space traffic management solutions, the Commerce Department is funding studies of topics that in some cases were addressed in a report last year by NAPA, risking both U.S. leadership in the field and space safety generally.
The Space Force supports commercial growth but would like to see a civilian agency in charge of managing traffic and regulating activities.
Space is busy and getting busier. Given the anticipated increased utilization of space largely in low Earth orbit, robust data dissemination of active satellite operations as well as orbital debris mitigation plans must be a part of international norms of space market access.
Gen. James Dickinson told lawmakers that congestion in space mostly fueled by commercial activity could create safety problems if it’s not managed.
From analyzing the terrain on Mars to enhancing communications between satellites and ground communications, artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasing important role in space operations and exploration
SpaceX has agreed to maneuver any of its Starlink satellites that come close to the International Space Station or other NASA spacecraft in low Earth orbit as part of an agreement between the agency and the company.
Gen. James Dickinson said he supports the transfer of space traffic control to the Department of Commerce “where it can be better managed."
Op-ed | How to convince China and Russia to join a space traffic management program for peace and prosperity
The United States should take the lead in initiating a dual-track approach to developing both a Western and an International space traffic management regime in order to prevent China and Russia from normalizing potent anti-satellite capabilities in the name of debris-removal.
SpaceX's Transporter-1, a rideshare mission scheduled to launch Jan. 23 could set a new record for the most satellites ever launched in a single flight.